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You’ve probably been there. I know I’ve been there more than once. You do something frugal, only to have it come back and bite you right in the butt. It might be something you think will save you some money, something you think will earn you some money, or something you think will keep you from losing money. Whatever it was, it didn’t pay off. Worse, it backfired.…

Baseball was on Dick Smith’s mind right to the end. So was kindness. One of the last acts Smitty made before he died in late February was to request that instead of flowers or memorials, donations be made in his memory to the Greater Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame and be used to purchase baseballs for the PAL summer league, the Parochial School fall baseball league and …

WASHINGTON – Like the lost “armada” led by the aircraft carrier USS Vinson, President Trump’s grand economic plan is almost all sizzle and no beef. Trump’s firebrand pledges to, in effect, make China eat dirt for “stealing American jobs,” a vow that wowed 2016 rallies in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, are now ashes in his mouth. There are two reasons …

A tip for all you iPhone users: Download the new Buffalo News app. In many ways, it looks just like the new website and mobile site that we introduced in October. But the new app gives you even more: Photo galleries. We have a great photo staff and great freelancers who take pictures at community events. The new app makes it easy and fast to swipe from picture to pic…

Ben Wheatley laughed. We were talking about the excesses and extremist lunacy of his film "Free Fire" in which the final hour is nothing but a long gunfight with 16 gun-toting combatants played out in "real time." I tell him that just before seeing his movie, I'd seen "The Fate of the Furious" in which there was a grandly orchestrated scene of car mayhem in which a r…

Maybe a decade ago, John Hurley asked John Zeis for a favor. Zeis teaches philosophy at Canisius College. Hurley, now president of Canisius, was a high-ranking college administrator. Hurley told Zeis there was an alumnus, a guy in his 80s, who wanted to sit in on a philosophy class. Zeis suggested a 200 level course, one essentially built for sophomores, that met in …

This is what I'm thinking: If Channel 2 sports director Adam Benigni was trying out for Scott Levin's news anchor job over the past weeks and really wants it, he certainly has been impressive enough to get it. Benigni illustrated he is a good reader with a strong voice and pleasant personality during his stint alongside co-anchor Kelly Dudzik. He also has name recognitio…

They gathered at St. Joseph University Church Saturday for a farewell to Jack Curtin, the federal judge whose name will always appear in any history book ever written about this town. Buffalo News reporter Dan Herbeck may have captured Curtin best in his obituary a week ago, describing him as “a slightly built man with twinkling blue eyes, a gentle wit and a humble de…

By the time you read this, Julie Molloy already will be settled in Paris, beginning one of the more unusual worker enrichment and training initiatives in the Buffalo Niagara region. Molloy, a designer at Buffalo branding and strategy agency Block Club, is spending the next six weeks in Paris. It's not a vacation. She'll be working from her temporary home away from ho…

The two stories on the same front page, each dealing with racial equity, leave two inescapable questions: Is the glass half-empty or half-full? And either way, are we willing to pour any more into the effort? The death of U.S. District Judge John T. Curtin is a reminder of a time when, despite virulent and even violent opposition, courts saw the Constitution as a vehicle …

Many allergy sufferers already know we’re off to a tough pollen season for this early in spring. The warm winter has moved the blooming season ahead of schedule, and there has been plenty of precipitation to assist in developing full foliage. At this time in April, the primary culprits in our region are pollen grains from maple, poplar and elm trees. While (to my know…

Hunter S. Thompson had it right when he said "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs." To which I'd add, the mediocre and banal are celebrated and remunerated, while the sublimely gifted and ever-searching are routinely marginalized. Allan Holdsworth, who died at the age…

It happened on May 25, 2011. America still hasn't completely recovered. The highest-rated talk show in TV history ended its 25-year run. But it was so much bigger than raw numbers. That was the date Oprah Winfrey vacated her throne as the presiding CEO of the American Zeitgeist -- the woman whose influence was, more than anyone's, responsible for the first American b…

News, notes and observations about politics around here: • Even Erie County’s crustiest political observers can’t recall the last time voters got fired up over a county clerk contest. Hey, if your driver’s license gets renewed without problems, then life is good. But big league politics unfolded last week when GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy endorsed Democrat…

Dr. Joe Nowak faced a difficult choice. His brother, Buffalo architect Peter Nowak, died on an August night 18 months ago from diabetes, alone, at the Stuyvesant Apartments on Elmwood Avenue. Joe, a California dentist, traveled here with his wife, Shalan, to settle Nowak’s affairs. They found few possessions in the apartment, Shalan said, only Nowak’s “drawing boa…